One of the best ways I have found over the years to save is to learn how to do things yourself. Don't be afraid, put a plan together and do it. I used that motto this weekend as I replaced not only the front brake pads on my car, but the rotors as well. Its the first car repair I have done without Yoda (i.e. my dad). I had a large repair manual for the car, and asked a friend from work over to help. I ended up doing most of the work, but he did bring some tools I needed. Plus having support there was nice, as was having a working car in the driveway in case I needed to go and get something was a nice peace of mind feeling. The parts cost $55, where as a local (and less expensive) garage wanted $220 to do it. I'm sure the dealership would have said $350 or more.
I just was determined to try it and see it through, and I survived (as did the car). I am adding this to the list of things I have figured out over the years. Its much more effective than trying to save quarters all the time (though maybe not as much fun).
Oh, and to make sure he knew how much I appreciated his help, I gave him $50 in gift certificates for a restaurant I used to do mystery shopping for. He said he went there that night and had a wonderful meal.
As for the weekend yard sales, to my amazement I have found more things to get for my mother and get for myself lately. Now a month ago, I picked up a hard to come by and very expensive slot car set that amazingly was never opened (
So I went out and spent $2 at the first two locations and then saw a sign pointing back to near my house (missed it on the way out), and decided to backtrack. I walk up and there amazingly is a box from the same manufacturer with another set. I figure "Well I'm sure this time its going to be beat up. Just be happy you found another one in any condition, there's no way that could be in great shape." I pull the box lid off, and there is another set, still new, still in the wrapper - again! Ok, final straw - the price has to be extremely high, right? - nope, he's selling it for $10 (This set is bigger than the last one, it definitely sold for around $200). After the $10 exchanged hands, I walked away thinking, wow its Groundhog Day, how could I hit that twice in a month??? Should I start buying lottery tickets???